PHOTOS: The side of the Hight building in downtown Skowhegan is a blank canvasses waiting for their bicentennial murals. (Submitted photo)
SKOWHEGAN — Wessernusett Arts Council has launched an open call for proposals for two Maine bicentennial murals to be painted downtown.
The deadline for the call is June 15 and is open to Maine artists, who will be paid a commission of $6,000 for each mural. A third part of this bicentennial project, already in the works through the WesArts Mural Committee, is an exterior installation of reproduced large-scale historic photographs onto the old Spinning Mill, now owned by Bigelow Brewing Co. This project is funded by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission and a grant from the Maine Community Foundation.
“We’re excited to be able to inject this kind of investment into our creative economy,” said project coordinator Saskia Reinholt.
The sites for the two murals are the Hight building in the downtown parking concourse and the Skowhegan Saving Bank Records Building on U.S. Route 201, downtown.
The murals will celebrate Skowhegan’s rich history and may paint a positive vision for the future. The selected murals will help make the downtown welcoming. The Hight building mural will depict the history of the Skowhegan State Agricultural Fair. The Skowhegan Savings Bank Records building mural will depict other important milestones in Skowhegan history.
The intent of the project is to increase the vibrance of downtown. Public art is a catalyst for enhancing a sense of place, building community pride and increasing tourism and economic development. The project also serves the Somerset County Cultural Plan, as 92 percent of respondents to the plan’s survey agree that art, culture and recreation should be accessible and affordable to all.
The project plans to commission the two murals by July, to be completed and installed by fall.
The call for proposals can be viewed at wesarts.org/murals.